Using a conceptual change approach to improve learners' understanding of ions in aqueous solutions in Physical Sciences.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate how the use of a conceptual change approach could contribute to enhancing the teaching and learning of ions in aqueous solutions in Grade 10 Physical Science. More specifically, the study attempted to answer the main research question, namely, How can the conceptual change approach be used to teach ions in aqueous solutions in Physical Sciences? This study was underpinned by the theories of constructivism and conceptual change. The concept of effective teaching practice is based on approaches that promote conceptual change and provides learners with skills on learning how to learn and making meaning out of their learning - which is part of the constructivist view of learning. The sample of this research consisted of a single class in a school where the researcher is teaching. The class has 26 learners of mixed gender. The study adopted a single case study approach and was designed to allow for the use of multiple data collection methods. Data was collected through a pre- and post-tests, intervention lessons, classroom observation as well as semi-structured focused group interviews. The use of qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection proved useful and provided in-depth data and allowed for triangulation. The data was analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The results of the research showed that learners performed better in the post-test than in the pre-test. The learners mentioned the fact that the intervention lesson played an important role in making them understand the concept better. The results also showed that, while the majority of the learners seemed to have made some progress in their conceptual development as a result of their exposure to the conceptual change method of teaching, others struggled with the approach.